Now that the event supposedly announcing what’s next for Windows is approaching, I decided to check AskWoody again and saw a post asking for feedback for Windows 11… Which feedback is pointless to offer, of course, being pretty much the usual list of requests that Microsoft doesn’t care about, but on that site there may still be a significant number of users agreeing and offering some feeling of validation, I guess… And since I need a non-personal post this week, I’ll just add what I posted there here as well, but keep in mind that I wrote that as a comment and just included what came to me on the spot, so it may well be that something important is missing.
– Return to the old Windows 7 and older style updates. Allowing users to check for updates without risking to have any automatically install, and having a “disable automatic updates” setting that if selected ensures that no update will be automatically installed no matter what, is absolutely mandatory, but being able to pick and choose individual patches is the actual target. Can of course still have the bundles for all the users who just want to get it over with and don’t care, but let the rest of us do it our way, and make sure that updating will never interfere, and that any update we don’t want, for whatever reason, we can skip, even permanently.
– Ensure that there are clear ways to check and, if desired, disable any automatic behaviors and tasks, so system resources will only be used for what the user desires them to be used. Incidentally, this eliminates the need for a separate telemetry point, since it means it must be easy to completely disable its gathering, purely from a system resource use point of view, though of course those who may for some reason still want to allow it to be gathered but control what of it is sent should also have that option.
– Ensure that changes made by users, by whatever means, be it clear settings, registry edits, group policy or whatever else, are not changed by the operating system, be it after updates or at any other point. If such a change would really conflict with an update, as in truly creating unavoidable problems, not just Microsoft saying it might or coding the update in such a manner as to create them when it could have been avoided, there should be a warning, allowing the user to choose between keeping the setting and installing the update.
– Bring back the version support and updating timeline as it was, no stream of feature updates but releasing a version of Windows that gets five to seven years of mainstream support, during which time there will be one to three major updates, as in the Service Packs, that are not forced on the user, and other minor and entirely optional feature updates among the monthly patches, plus five to seven more years of extended support, with security updates only.
– Ensure that all local functions work properly without connections to the Internet, which obviously also means a Microsoft account shouldn’t be required for anything done on your own computer, and users shouldn’t be tricked or pressured into logging on that way.
– Bring back the Windows 7 start menu.
– Give users a wide range of install options and explain them properly, so the operating system will be as close to the desired state right away, without undesired components and behaviors. This would also imply more customization options, and Microsoft stopping this unifying policy and remembering that users are individuals with individual preferences even on similar devices, not to mention that different types of devices may be better suited for entirely different settings. And it also relates to the system requirements and resource use, allowing users to choose between lightweight and flashy eye candy and anything in between. And obviously also means things like the Store or ads or other such “features” can never be installed at all, though admittedly it does seem fair for this to be a feature reserved for actual paid licenses.